In a TV show I heard this:

An asian girl comes in a park. A girl in a group of friends says "Look what the cat dragged in". A boy(her boy friend) in the group says "don't you ever let up.

What does he mean " Let up"

Here is the link:-> https://soundcloud.com/sukhjinder-singh-626913618/neighbours-joke

  • Are you sure you heard it correctly? It makes no sense to me in this context. – Dr Sitecore Aug 27 '18 at 13:17
  • @DrSitecore Would let up make sense instead? – user3395 Aug 27 '18 at 13:18
  • @userr2684291 it might, but without further context I can't be sure. – Dr Sitecore Aug 27 '18 at 14:20
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    The man in the recording is asking "Don't you ever let up?" not let out. – Andrew Aug 27 '18 at 15:11

If the phrase is 'Don't you ever let out', this can be used to ask someone, 'Don't you ever relax and have fun?'. This was used on campus when I was young (i.e. many years ago), so I would not be surprised if it has taken on a new meaning now.

If the correct phrase is 'Don't you ever let up?' then it would make a world of difference. 'Let up' is very useful phrase that can be used for a wide variety of reasons.

'Don't you ever let up?' means 'Don't you ever stop?', or 'Don't you ever give people a break?' You would normally say this to someone who is annoying you because they are doing something repeatedly, e.g.:

always making sexist/racist/rude comments

always complaining about something

always pushing their view about politics/religion/their hobby

always behaving inappropriately


The term has wider application. For example, if it has been raining for days, people will start to ask, 'When is the rain going to let up?', meaning 'When is the rain going to stop.' you can make similar comments about

illness, e.g. a persistent cough

a long-term economic downturn

a boss who is always complaining about his workers

a politician who is always talking about the same thing


  • OP posted the source recording in which you can hear the man saying, "Don't you ever let up?" albeit in a heavy Australian accent. – Andrew Aug 27 '18 at 15:13
  • @Andrew Thank you for pointing that out; not sure how I missed it. I have edited my answer to delete the first paragraph where I spoke about 'lot out'. – James Aug 28 '18 at 9:43

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